By: Andrea Dillon
Once you have made this decision and have a good understanding of your state’s homeschool law, it is time to figure out your homeschool schedule. Creating a homeschool schedule can be daunting. How long do you need to homeschool? What should you cover in a day? Let’s work on developing your perfect plan below!
Developing Your Homeschool Routine
Evaluate when your children work best. We are not all morning people, and this is something to consider before making your daily homeschool schedule. Pick the time of day that fits your schedule and also works best for your children. Remember, flexibility is a perk of homeschooling!
Set your goals. Review your curriculum, check age by age/grade by grade guidelines, and make a list of what you want to accomplish for the year or however long you are homeschooling.
Get the children involved in setting their goals with this custom home learning plan.
It’s important to figure out what type of homeschoolers you are. Planning for homeschooling is like planning a vacation. Decide how much structure and planning you need then pick a schedule outline. Homeschool schedules vary home to home and, at times, homeschooler to homeschooler. Don’t be afraid to tweak an already-made homeschool schedule to work for your family.
Choose Your Daily/Weekly Homeschool Schedule Template
There are many different homeschool schedules that homeschoolers use. Some are more structured, and some are looser and easier to customize. Here are a few popular options that many homeschoolers currently use, including printable homeschool schedule templates for each.
Many homeschoolers start with this homeschool daily schedule but end up changing later on. This method is pretty simple and generally looks like a public school day. Subjects and projects are scheduled on a general daily planner, and the school day is over when all tasks are finished. This is an easy way to plan but also an easy way to burn out if breaks are not taken regularly.
This type of scheduling focuses on spending more extended amounts of time on each subject and dividing the subjects up into different days. For example, you might do one hour of math and one hour of language arts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with one hour of science and one hour of social studies on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Some homeschoolers even change up their schedules each semester to cover more subjects and keep from getting stuck in a rut.
If you have a set time available for homeschooling, this might be the option for you. This type of schedule doesn’t set a subject for each day. Instead, you have a list of things to complete, and it goes on a loop list. Each day you go down the list to the next thing and when you get to the bottom, you start over. For example, Monday during your school time you might work on history, Tuesday science, Wednesday math, Thursday reading, and Friday language arts. The following Monday coding and then Tuesday you are back around to history. This type of schedule allows for things to be added easily. You don’t have to worry about making time, you just add it to the loop list.
Additional Considerations While Creating Your Homeschool Schedule
Schedule an Ending Time
Starting a homeschool day in the morning and not finishing up until after dark is frustrating. It happens to the best of us, but it is the quickest way to make you and your homeschooler ready to quit. Set a time to call it DONE; plan a time during the day that you can pack it all up and do something fun. The lessons will be there tomorrow.
Break for Food
I know this one sounds like a given, but hangry is a real thing. Plan time for meals. Schedule in some extra breaks where everyone can get snacks, water, and, of course, more coffee for the teacher.
Don’t feel like you need to jump in full-throttle on the first day. Take your time and add things in slowly to your homeschool schedule. It’s great to start with something fun for the first day, and then add in another subject the next day and so on. If you are doing loop or block scheduling, take it slow by slowly increasing the time homeschooling. Try 30 minutes the first day, 45 the next, then one hour and so on.
Plan a Break Day or Two
Write in a few break days for the month. These don’t have to be days that aren’t educational, but it is helpful to try something different. Take a trip to the park for an impromptu bird watching walk, make it a movie day, or try a fun scavenger hunt. Do something different.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Changes
Don’t stay with something that is making you and your homeschoolers miserable. The number one perk of homeschooling is the freedom to make changes as we need to. If something isn’t working in your homeschool routine, take a day or two and make some changes. It’s important to combine and change things as needed. If you are using a general loop schedule, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a day of block scheduling. Don’t be afraid to ask your children to help make the schedule better; with their help, the scheduling of homeschooling becomes a homeschool lesson in itself! Do what works for you and your homeschooler!
Planning your homeschool schedule can seem overwhelming, but with some time and reflection, it doesn’t have to be. Decide what schedule best fits your family, and remember to take it slow and make changes as needed. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be ready to start your homeschooling journey!
Click the images below to download and print out our quick infographics as a quick reference while working on your perfect homeschool schedule.
If you are still unsure about creating a homeschool schedule, give an online program a try. Many online homeschool programs offer planning help to get you started. Time4Learning is one such online curriculum that provides that support. Time4Learing.com also offers a free Welcome to Homeschooling eBook that is perfect for homeschool newbies!